Epic Gallery and Social Gallery – which is the best WordPress Plugin 2013

May 10, 2013| Mike Stott

With the new features built into Epic Gallery to enable you to view your images in a Social Gallery, you may think… hang on.. why do I need the Social Gallery plugin anymore? Well there’s a TON of reasons and of course some reasons why you may only decide to go with Epic Gallery or only Social Gallery.

This post is a truthful review of both plugins and should help you decide which (if any) plugins you should purchase for your WordPress site.

If you just wish to know the answer, well we’d recommend BOTH….

Epic Gallery  Buy Now

[epicgallery cats = ‘123’]

The above looks a lot like Social Gallery doesn’t it? Well that’s because it is built with Social Sharing in mind, but to use this viewer you need to run Epic Gallery. You can display images onto your website like the one above by tagging them with a single tag and using the ‘cats’ filter with the TAG ID on in the shortcode for epic gallery. The above example I’ve picked a few random images from the Epic Gallery database. You can update your Epic Gallery using your WordPress Media Library or your NextGen galleries. The Epic Gallery creates posts for your images, rich with <og:meta> tags to help the sharing tools work well. The sharing is handled via the “Share This” plugin which means there are LOTS more sharing options and the information that’s share is more stable.

The main upsides of Epic Gallery are:-

  • It’s a full Gallery plugin so has total control over the images and how they’re outputted – this means less bugs!
  • Has a mobile lightbox and a tablet lightbox – just like in Google.
  • It has both a Social Gallery viewer option (works without Social Gallery) and a Google Images style viewer for visitors on a browser
  • It comes with a Search function – so you can use it stand alone as a way for users to search images on your site (that are in your Epic Gallery).
  • Easily control the content as each Gallery image is just like a WordPress post.

The downsides of Epic Gallery are:-

  • Even though images can be automatically added it takes time to go through and update the titles and descriptions
  • The images are displayed in a basic format on the page (i.e. no fancy on page effects like in NextGen or JiG displays (yet)).
  • The order of the images on the page is decided by Epic Gallery (more soon on this)

Social Gallery  Buy Now

With Social Gallery the options are much wider, you can simply insert any images from your media library, nextgen gallery and even images displayed using Justified Image Grid. I like to use it with the WordPress in Post Gallery as these are the most stable and don’t have any other lightbox effects messing around with things.

The Social Gallery viewer is totally flexible and opens the lightbox in the best size it thinks compared to the full screen only Epic Gallery version. There’s a number of different themes and you can use it just about anywhere.

The main upsides of Social Gallery are:-

  • Can be used to open any of your website images – not just ones in a gallery
  • Has some awesome add ons for Social Stats and Mobile functionality
  • Has sharing options running independently of any service (like share this)

The downsides to Social Gallery are that:

  • It needs some expertise to setup and get working 
  • Other plugins can mess with it if they run their own lightbox effect on images
  • Has sharing options running independently of any service (like share this) – can sometimes cause issues

My honest recommendation would be to have both plugins running on your website. The number of times I see a website with a cool image and think, wow I gotta share this, I wonder what other images they have worth sharing that are similar…

Well through a combination of Epic Gallery and Social Gallery you can boost your users engagement in your website 100x and give them ways to discover even more new content through your image search function.

What are your views, which do you prefer? Do you run both? Do you run none?

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